31 August 2012

Summer souvenirs

Is there a better way to finish off the summer than by looking back at the horrible souvenirs that you got in various cities during your vacation? Yes. Looking at a more comprehensive collection of some of the most awful city souvenirs.

27 August 2012

Isaac maps

As Isaac nears the Gulf coast, the Google Crisis Response Team has created new Hurricane Isaac materials. I trust that they will continue to add overlays or create new maps as needed.

26 August 2012

The changing landscape of sports conferences

For the sports fans out there, the changing conferences have made college sports a challenge.  But nothing clarifies a complicated landscape like a clear map. And the NY Times has come to the rescue with 8 maps of recently changed conferences. It is clear, simple and may change how you visualize the MAC.

Late Addition: Slate has a similarly intriguing map of Romney and Obama's campaign stops. If you tell me that they spend much of their time in battleground states, I think it is obvious. But when you show me, I realize how limited their travels really are.  (in the battle between electoral college and football college, we all win?)

Water, water everywhere

With Hurricane Isaac hogging all of the attention, you might miss a close-up look by the Star-Ledger at the frequently flooded Lost Valley in Manville or their larger call for better infrastructure in NJ before our next hurricane. Road damage included washing away a bit of an Interstate, huge swathsof the state without power, and then there were the dams:
"Six dams failed during the storm and another 14 were damaged, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. For the most part, repairs have been made where needed, while other low-risk dams were allowed to wash away."
Good reading while you wait for Hurrican Leslie.

20 August 2012

LA-GIS history

I was luck to meet GIS pioneer Bruce Rowland back i January. He was a key figure in getting TVA to adopt GIS after leaving the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. This short interview highlights his experiences in the early days at Harvard. I especially enjoy hearing talk about the impressive young turks at the Computer Graphics Lab who had "monitors". That was the sign of where they really stood.

14 August 2012

"A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it."

09 August 2012

The videos of Versailles

Dior has a promotional video (read: ad) set entirely with the Palace and Gardens of Versailles that does an good job of emphasizing the extreme decadence of the place. After watching their "Secret Garden" video, you may need to cleanse your palate, so I offer this 1961 educational film showing Versailles through a blurrier and less extravagant lens.

08 August 2012

Pedestrian bridges

I will admit to being a complete sucker for Calatrava bridges (who isn't?), but it was great to see this alternative: Atlantic Cities' slideshow of Non-Calatrava pedestrian bridges.

07 August 2012

A Grand Park for LA?

Los Angeles is getting a new Rios Clementi Hale park.  But it seems to still be open to debate whether Grand Park is great.  As the LA Times points out, it is an expensive park in a 9-5 park of the city.

06 August 2012

History quote

Process finds its origin in a multitude of remote pasts, so historical - in evolutionary terms - become almost arbitrary punctuations. The future can't tell because it has never existed. Only the present receding into the past exists. History, the past, will tell, and although the labeling will be different, the content, if worthy, will maintain its own substantiveness.

- Paolo Soleri

02 August 2012

Cool Olmypic graphics

Check out this set of infographic representations showing different statistics about the five continents using the Olympic rings as its basis.

Form givers and forest architects

Within the architectural profession, I distinguish the form givers, with the "orchids" they often produce, and the forest architects. Given the number of people in need of shelter, we require the equivalent of the forest, that is, cities coherently designed. In the urban forest, orchids are welcomed as orchids might be welcomed in the organic forest.

- Paolo Soleri